THE Bishop of Salisbury will bless 42 young yew trees on Wednesday at the cathedral.

The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam — the Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment — will hold the service as part of a campaign to celebrate the heritage of the nation’s ancient yew trees.

The trees represent the 42 dioceses of the Church of England.

The Conservation Foundation's 'We Love Yew' campaign is being launched to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Communities are invited to apply for a free sapling, propagated by The Conservation Foundation from yews estimated to have been alive at the time of the Magna Carta, to celebrate this year’s 800th anniversary

David Shreeve, director of The Conservation Foundation said, “Our ancient yews are a very special part of our environment and our cultural heritage.

"Over the centuries many important events, including the sealing of Magna Carta took place under a yew tree."

He continues: “Yews make very few demands, but do need a little bit of TLC from time to time. They can be older than the church where they are near, but often have very little official protection. They are already visited by large numbers of enthusiasts, but we hope this new project will encourage people to learn about their local yew and its place in the history of where they live and ensure they continue to grow for hundreds - possibly thousands more years.”

The Salisbury Cathedral yew will be planted by The Dean, the Very Reverend June Osborne, in the cathedral cloisters.